Media Navel Gaze: March 21, 2011

Mark Kollar  Follow

American, European and Arab leaders launched their air attack over Libya in what is being called by the US as Operation Odyssey Dawn to enforce a no-fly zone and support Qaddafi rebels in one of the largest interventions in the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq. The UN Security Council authorized member nations to take the action in Libya late last week, which resulted so far in bombings in Benghazi. Elsewhere:

  • Japan continued to dig out from the damages of the earthquake and tsunami and deal with the face unanswered questions about nuclear destruction as elevated levels of radiation were discovered in food;
  • The G-7 staged a massive intervention to push down the yen ($25BB package), the first time they have acted together in more than a decade (interesting how coverage differed on the recent strength of the yen, with The Wall Street Journal calling it a "freak onslaught," mostly from speculators, whom one Japanese official called "sneaky thieves":
  • Not Working from Home: President Obama was in Brazil over the weekend, monitoring Japan and Libya from overbroad; and
  • The Dow, reacting to news out of Japan, the Middle East and relatively positive US economic data ended the week down 1.5 percent at 11,858.

Netflix Flexes Serial-Muscle

NetflixOnline film provider Netflix announced last week that it had licensed the rights to "House of Cards," a new show directed by David Fincher of "The Social Network" fame in a bid to compete with the likes of HBO, Showtime and other premium cable channels.  But there is a big and radical difference in the programming:  The show will be debut online and distributed through Netflix's recommendation, according to Brian Stelter in The New York Times. That means Netflix is clearly entering new territory and not relying only on other people's content but giving viewers freedom to view with no set time slated for a release.  Let the games begin.

The New York TimesFlexes Pay Wall Muscle

The Times announced last week that it would begin charging readers (but not its home-delivery subscribers) fees for reading more than 20 articles per month, at $15 per month. Jury's out on success so interesting to see if readers will pay for something that once was free. CJP

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